CONYERS — Rockdale County Clerk of Courts Ruth Wilson has announced she plans to retire and will not seek re-election in 2020.
In a letter sent Friday to Chief Superior Court Judge David Irwin, Wilson said her retirement will be effective March 31, 2020. Her term of office ends Dec. 31, 2020.
Wilson said she has notified Gov. Brian Kemp of her intention to retire. Because she will be retiring prior to the end of her term, Chief Deputy Clerk James Cabe will assume the duties of clerk on April 1, 2020, without the necessity of a special election.
“One thing I take pride in is hiring good people,” said Wilson. “One of my best decisions was hiring Chief Deputy Clerk James Cabe. It is to him that I will soon pass the baton. He is the reason I will be able to move on with peace of mind.”
Wilson was first elected clerk of courts in 2008 and won a second term in 2012 and a third in 2016. While she said she will miss the responsibility of serving the courts, the legal community and the public, it is time for her to focus on other duties.
“I believe that the Rockdale Clerk of Courts Office is as strong as it has ever been and that the staff we have are among the best in the state,” Wilson wrote in her letter to Judge Irwin. “We have experienced and committed employees who truly care about the public we serve, under sometimes trying circumstances. I am proud of what we have built and am optimistic that the next clerk will guide the office to even greater success.”
Over the course of her tenure, Wilson said she has worked to hire the best people the office can afford and then train and develop them so that they understand the expectations of the public and are prepared to meet their needs in a “respectful, responsive and responsible manner.”
“We have great people,” Wilson said. “We have gone beyond the basics to exceed expectations, and in many cases to the delight of the public we serve.”
The motto of the Clerk’s Office is “Preserving the Past While Preparing for the Future.” Wilson said much of the work accomplished during her three terms may be invisible to the public, such as increasing the effective use of technology to become more efficient and cost effective and ensuring that court records are now much less vulnerable to a disaster at the courthouse. Most records are also now digitally accessible.
Wilson has also reached out to the community through a number of partnerships and sponsorships, including the Middle School Oratorical Competition, Rockdale Youth Leadership Program, Record Restriction Days, the Volunteer Attorney Program and Conyers-Rockdale Chamber of Commerce Leadership Rockdale. The Clerk’s Office has also worked with nonprofit organizations, offering a one-time competitive grant from the Clerk’s Charitable Giving Program.